Sheffield United 0-2 Liverpool
Premier League (26), Anfield
February 28, 2021
Jones 48′ (assist – Alexander-Arnold)
Bryan OG 65′ (assist – Firmino)
After a full week on the training pitch, Liverpool took to the field with a new setup as they resembled closer to a 3-4-3 in possession, with Trent Alexander-Arnold joining the new centre-back pairing of Nat Phillips and Ozan Kabak in a back three.
The Reds unsurprisingly dominated from the first whistle, and should have gone a goal up early on as Roberto Firmino found himself one-on-one with Aaron Ramsdale, but more poor finishing cost the Brazilian.
Jones twice struggled to get the ball under his spell in the box – the first following a brilliant cross from the right-back – while Alexander-Arnold tested Ramsdale again as he turned and blasted on target.
Liverpool were let off midway through the half as a bouncing cross saw Kabak divert the ball past Adrian under pressure from Oli McBurnie, but thankfully the striker was ruled offside.
Ramsdale saved again from a powerful drive from Gini Wijnaldum, with Firmino dallying on the rebound to perfectly sum up the lack of confidence that deprived Liverpool of a deserved lead at the break.
HT: Sheffield United 0-0 Liverpool
‘More of the same’ will have been the message at half-time, and fortunately it came off for Liverpool within three minutes of the restart, albeit needing an insight from VAR.
With Alexander-Arnold stretching to keep the ball in and cross it into the box, Jones hammered home for an impressive opener, and after a lengthy review it was found that the goal was legitimate.
The Reds almost made it 2-0 soon after as Sadio Mane beat Ramsdale only to be caught offside, while at the other end McBurnie wasted a big chance for the Blades.
A spell of shocking defending from Sheffield United then allowed Firmino to dance through a number of weak challenges, and shaping up to shank his shot well wide, it instead took a big deflection from Kean Bryan to double the lead.
TIA Man of the Match: Curtis Jones
Referee: Jonathan Moss
Sheffield United: Ramsdale; Stevens, Bryan, Jagielka (Osborn 56′), Ampadu, Baldock; Norwood, Fleck, Lundstram; McGoldrick (Burke 56′), McBurnie
Subs not used: Foderingham, Lowe, Maguire, Ndiaye, Sharp, Mousset, Brewster
Subs not used: Ojrzynski, Hughes, R.Williams, N.Williams, Shaqiri, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Origi